Have you ever seen one of those traffic cops in a large city directing traffic? They make an art of stopping one lane while encouraging another lane to move forward or turn left. It is mesmerizing to see the beauty at which they direct trucks and cars, let alone getting people from one side of the street to the other. I have seen a couple of traffic cops in England that cause you to stand and stare. Most of the streets in the USA are electronically controlled so the traffic cop is becoming extinct. Chicago is one of those towns where rarely you will find a traffic cop directing traffic.
This last week we happened to be walking to the “L” (it’s really a subway, but in Chicago they don’t call it a subway but the “L” train) to go to a favorite eating establishment of my daughters when we encountered an interesting sight. A woman had turned onto a one way going in the opposite direction of her car. All the cars were stopped and had taken up all the lanes so she was face to face with the cars and nowhere to go. Unfortunately the street behind her had the right of way and were zooming by. She was stuck with nowhere to go. About 25 people at the cross walk were being amused by the whole experience, but I could see that the woman was very distraught and had no way of getting out of the pickle she was in without intervention.
At once, I stepped out in the street of the oncoming traffic (there were only a few cars coming at the time) and put up my left hand to signal the cars to stop. I then wanted to see where the lady wanted to go and she motioned across the street. I used my right hand to motion her to turn her car in the opposite direction and she proceeded to make a half-moon turn of her car and off she went across the intersection to her intended destination. Several of the cars that were stopped were totally amused and a couple of cars honked at me in approval.
The light turned green for the one way traffic and off they went and off we went crossing the street. Everyone at the intersection including the pedestrians and the parked cars waiting have the light turn green were observing the dilemma of the woman, but no one was taking steps to help the person in distress, except for me. It reminds me of times when we are all too preoccupied with getting to our destination that we fail to look up to see those God has put in our path to give a lending hand.
I am reminded of Phillip in Acts who was doing a great ministry for the Lord when God called him into the desert to share the claims of Christ with the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) Even though he was preoccupied with a ministry, he was sensitized to God’s call to help someone in the desert. Someone who was turned around and needed help in getting unstuck.
On this journey, keep your head up to see opportunities to help people in need. Who knows if God might call on you to help someone get unstuck from their life’s obstacles.